It’s no secret that I will do ANYTHING for a lump of metal at the end of a ribbon. Not only does the running bling look lovely hanging from my banister, waiting for admiring oohs and aahs from passing guests, it also acts as a record of my racing career. I always write the date and time on the back of my medals so I can easily track my performances.
So here is a run down of my favourite medals to date…
NUMBER 10 – Eden Half Marathon 2015
It’s square, which is rare in the running medal world. It’s got the famous biomes from the Eden Project on it and the ribbon is funky. That’s why this scoops number 10 on the list. This is a beautiful rural half marathon that starts and finishes in Eden Project. You get a free pasty and ale at the end as well as a day out at this popular tourist attraction, you have to work for it though; it’s a hilly course.
NUMBER 09 – North Downs Run 30km 2015
The designers of this medal have added little snippets and words taken from race reviews, which is something I’ve never seen before. This is a small local race, with a big reputation so it makes sense to capture some of these reviews on the bling. This is a 30km off-road stomp across some serious slopes. Not for the faint-hearted or weak-legged.
NUMBER 08 – Bewl Water Half Marathon 2015
It’s intricate and the colours aren’t the usual day glow brights so this take the number 8 spot. This is a massive medal with the Figure of the Greek god Hermes in the centre, which also happens to be the logo of Hermes Running, the company who put on this event. The Bewl Water half marathon is a lap of the reservoir in South East England (2 for those running the full marathon on the same day) – it’s off road but the paths are well managed and it’s more undulating than it is hilly. The views are beautiful.
NUMBER 07 – Dartford Half Marathon 2016
I like the cut out in this medal and one of the notable features of this race is that runners get to finish with a glory lap of the track in Central Park (Dartford, not NYC). The crowds are cheering and the announcer will name check you – it’s a welcome boost at the end of this hilly and challenging course. The track is captured on the medal which is top quality and an unusual shape. A well deserved 7th for the Dartford Harriers.
NUMBER 06 – Paris Marathon 2016
I should have photographed some of these medals showing scale, because this is MASSIVE. And it’s shiny. And it reminds me of a record with all its grooves. The course route is also outlined and Paris is a beautiful race so all in all it ranks highly on the favourites list. Paris is a big, pricey, city marathon so you would expect some serious bling for your buck.
NUMBER 05 – London Marathon 2011
NUMBER 04 – Paris Marathon 2015
NUMBER 03 – Vienna Marathon 2016
In Vienna they give you bling on top of bling. This fancy star-shaped medal is embellished with a little gemstone. It even makes the weird stick man forgiveable. The Vienna Marathon is a stunning city race, well organised with fantastic scenery. It doesn’t seem to have much of a reputation in the UK but this really is one to try out, if only to bring home the unique medal.
NUMBER 02 – Blackpool Marathon 2016
It’s not often you get a medal that is also a lethal weapon. This dagger-like token comes all the way from Blackpool. It’s a very small, local marathon (around 350 competitors) but the bling is up there with the big outfits. The Blackpool Tower remains an iconic attraction at the resort and you will run past it a few times at this race. This marathon is run on the same day as London, and it makes a great alternative for those struggling to get a place in the capital.
NUMBER 01 – Ranscombe Challenge 2016
Anyone who knows the wonderful racemasters at Saxons Vikings & Normans marathons, know that they are famous for their beautiful bling and serious goody bags. I only own one of their medals and it shot to the top of the pack as soon as I got my grubby mitts on it. It’s detailed, colourful, big and unique. The race itself is a multi-lap challenge where runners can go as far as they like within a given time. Aid stations are packed with real food (think cake, chocolate, crisps) and the runners and crew are a very friendly bunch. This course is hilly and muddy and fun and beautiful. I would urge you to try one of these races, but I don’t want to them to get booked up before I manage to sign up for more myself.